March 6, 2024
Natural Cures

4 easy and essential ways to maintain proper hand hygiene

4 easy and essential ways to maintain proper hand hygiene
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What is Hand Hygiene?

Hand hygiene refers to the act of cleaning your hands to remove dirt, soil, and microorganisms such as bacteria and viruses. Proper hand hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of infections, including COVID-19, the common cold, flu, and many other diseases.
Hand hygiene can be achieved by either washing hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. When washing hands with soap and water, it is recommended to wet hands with clean running water, apply soap, and rub hands together for at least 20 seconds. Afterward, rinse hands thoroughly with running water and dry them with a clean towel or air dry them. If soap and water are not available, hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol can be used.
Hand hygiene is especially important in healthcare settings to prevent the spread of infections between patients, healthcare workers, and visitors. However, it is also important for everyone to practice good hand hygiene in their daily lives to protect themselves and others from illness.

Four proper ways to maintain hand hygiene:

Hand hygiene is a critical component of infection control and prevention, and it is essential to protect against the spread of illness and disease.

maintain proper hand hygiene

Here are four important points about hand hygiene:
Proper handwashing technique:

Handwashing is the most effective way to remove germs from your hands. To do it correctly, wet your hands with clean water, apply soap, and rub your hands together for at least 20 seconds, making sure to cover all surfaces including the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Then, rinse your hands thoroughly and dry them with a clean towel or air dryer.
Proper handwashing technique is essential to remove germs and prevent the spread of infection. Here are the steps to follow for proper hand washing:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • The next step is to rub your hands together with the soap making sure the lather is formed. Make sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Continue scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds or more. You can hum the “Happy Birthday” song twice to help you remember the time.
  • Rinse your hands well with clean water.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or you can air dry them.

It’s important to note that handwashing should be performed at key times, including before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and after touching an animal or handling garbage.
If soap and water are not available, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative. Make sure the hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol, and apply enough to cover all surfaces of your hands. Rub your hands together until the sanitizer dries completely. However, handwashing with soap and water is still the most effective way to remove germs from your hands.

Proper handwashing technique

Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers:

If soap and water are not available, using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be the best way to maintain hand hygiene. Make sure the hand sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol, and apply enough to cover all surfaces of your hands. Rub your hands together until the sanitizer dries completely.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are an effective alternative to handwashing with soap and water when it is not readily available. Here are some important points to keep in mind when using alcohol-based hand sanitizers:

  • Choose the right product: Look for an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Check the label to ensure that it is not expired, and follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Apply enough sanitizer: Apply enough sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands, including your palms, backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  • Rub your hands together: Rub your hands together, making sure to cover all surfaces, until the sanitizer dries completely. This should take about 20 seconds.
  • Use sanitizer safely: Hand sanitizers are flammable, so keep them away from heat sources, and do not use them near open flames. They should also be kept out of the reach of children, as ingesting hand sanitizer can be harmful.

It’s important to note that handwashing with soap and water is still the most effective way to remove germs from your hands. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should be used as a supplement to handwashing when soap and water are not readily available.

Use of alcohol-based hand sanitizers

Proper timing of hand hygiene:

Hand hygiene should be performed at key times to prevent the spread of germs. These include before and after preparing food, before eating, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing, and after touching an animal or handling garbage. Proper timing of hand hygiene is essential to prevent the spread of germs and infection. Here are some key times when hand hygiene should be performed:

  • Before and after preparing food: Hand hygiene should be performed before handling food to prevent the spread of germs to the food, and after handling food to prevent the spread of germs from the food to your hands.
  • Before eating: Hands should be washed before eating to prevent the ingestion of any germs that may be on your hands.
  • After using the bathroom: Hand hygiene should be performed after using the bathroom to prevent the spread of germs from faecal matter.
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing: Hand hygiene should be performed after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing to prevent the spread of germs to others.
  • After touching an animal or handling garbage: Hands should be washed after touching an animal or handling garbage to prevent the spread of germs.
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick: Hand hygiene should be performed before and after caring for someone who is sick to prevent the spread of germs to yourself and others.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound: Hands should be washed before and after treating a cut or wound to prevent the spread of germs to the wound.

Remember, proper hand hygiene is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs and infection.

Proper timing of hand hygiene

Encourage hand hygiene in others:

Encouraging and modeling good hand hygiene practices is an essential part of preventing the spread of germs. Teach children and others the proper handwashing technique, and make sure hand sanitizers are readily available in public places such as schools and workplaces. Encouraging hand hygiene in others is an important way to help prevent the spread of germs and illnesses.
Here are some tips on how to encourage hand hygiene in others:

  • Lead by example: Practise good hand hygiene yourself and others will be more likely to follow your lead.
  • Explain the importance: Explain to others why hand hygiene is important, especially during times when there is a risk of spreading illness.
  • Provide education: Share educational resources, such as posters or brochures, that explain how and when to practice good hand hygiene.
  • Make it easy: Provide hand sanitizer or hand-washing stations in convenient locations, such as near entrances or common areas.
  • Use positive reinforcement: Praise others when you see them practicing good hand hygiene.
  • Correct gently: If you notice someone not practicing good hand hygiene, gently remind them of the importance of it and suggest they wash their hands or use hand sanitizer.
  • Create a culture of cleanliness: Encourage a culture of cleanliness and make it a habit for everyone in the environment to practice good hand hygiene.

Encourage hand hygiene in others

Remember, practicing good hand hygiene is a simple and effective way to prevent the spread of germs and illnesses. By encouraging others to do the same, we can all work together to keep ourselves and others healthy.
In conclusion, hand hygiene is a crucial practice that can prevent the spread of diseases and infections. It involves cleaning your hands regularly with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand sanitizers. By practicing proper hand hygiene, individuals can reduce the risk of contracting and spreading illnesses. This is particularly important in healthcare settings but also applies to everyday life. So, it is essential to make hand hygiene a regular part of our daily routine to maintain good health and well-being.